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Feb 26, 2014

Puerto Rico bonds do the unexpected: Rally

WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – The $3.7 trillion U.S.
municipal bond market has been stunned by what would have been
unthinkable a few months ago: Puerto Rico debt is rallying.

Credit spreads on the troubled territory’s bonds are
shrinking. Yields on its general obligation bonds in the
secondary market are falling. And all this is happening against
the backdrop of events that should make the bonds radioactive to
buyers. Most notably, the three rating agencies cut Puerto
Rico’s credit score to junk earlier this month.

Feb 14, 2014

A romantic night awaits ‘House of Cards’ binge-watching couples

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – On this Valentine’s Day, some couples will enter a committed relationship, but it might end up lasting a mere 13 hours.

That’s the time it would take to binge-watch the 13 episodes of the second season of “House of Cards,” the Emmy Award-winning political thriller from Netflix Inc released on the online streaming service on Friday.

Feb 11, 2014

Puerto Rico looks to borrow amid financial turbulence

Feb 11 (Reuters) – Puerto Rico said on Tuesday it plans to
issue general obligation bonds to refinance debt and ease its
liquidity crunch, but the island did not offer details as to its
timing or how much debt it plans to sell.

The U.S. territory, which has $70 billion in tax-free debt
outstanding, is mired in a multi-year recession. It has been
downgraded to junk status by all three major U.S. credit rating
agencies in the last week and is struggling to avoid default.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. municipal advisers get guidance, but not delay, on regulation

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange
Commission on Friday closed potential loopholes in its new
regulation on the financial advisers to U.S. states and cities
and resisted calls to slow down creating oversight of a group
that has long escaped government scrutiny.

The securities industry had asked the SEC for a one-month
delay in enacting its full definition of exactly who counts as a
municipal advisor, which is set to go into full effect on Jan.
13.

Jan 10, 2014

Analysis:Shrinking U.S. municipal fund outflows could signal end of exodus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A record-setting flood of money from the U.S. municipal bond market may be near an end as the sector’s high yields beckon investors bearing cash from year-end redemptions.

In a hint that the relentless sell-off that sucked $62.6 billion out of municipal bond funds in 2013 is winding down, data from Lipper on Thursday showed net outflows slowed to just $18.99 million in the week ended January 8.

Jan 10, 2014

Shrinking U.S. municipal fund outflows could signal end of exodus

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A record-setting flood of
money from the U.S. municipal bond market may be near an end as
the sector’s high yields beckon investors bearing cash from
year-end redemptions.

In a hint that the relentless sell-off that sucked $62.6
billion out of municipal bond funds in 2013 is winding down,
data from Lipper on Thursday showed net outflows slowed to just
$18.99 million in the week ended Jan. 8.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. municipal adviser rule unveiled; raises transaction worries

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The board overseeing the U.S.
municipal bond market on Thursday proposed a strict code of
conduct for financial advisers to cities and states, including a
ban on their role in principal transactions – a change that has
raised concerns in the securities industry.

The Dodd-Frank Act, approved after the 2008 financial
crisis, requires the advisers who consult with municipalities
about selling bonds and buying derivatives to register with the
Securities and Exchange Commission and comply with similar rules
for municipal brokers and dealers.

Dec 20, 2013

Budget deal gives U.S. capital region what it wants: certainty

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The recent budget compromise
passed by the U.S. Congress is delivering what the country’s
capital region has wanted for more than a year: certainty.

Federal austerity measures that included automatic spending
cuts beginning in March and a partial shutdown of the government
this fall left Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia wondering
what Congressionally induced economic obstacle would pop up
next.

Dec 15, 2013

Little respite seen for U.S. municipal bonds in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The withering U.S. municipal bond market will shrink even more well into 2014, with interest rate and credit risks keeping both investors and borrowers away.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround in the final weeks of 2013, municipal bonds will post their first negative annual performance since the financial crisis, with investors fleeing municipal funds at a record pace and the market’s overall size, now less than $3.7 trillion, contracting for a third straight year.

Dec 15, 2013

Analysis: Little respite seen for U.S. municipal bonds in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The withering U.S. municipal bond market will shrink even more well into 2014, with interest rate and credit risks keeping both investors and borrowers away.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround in the final weeks of 2013, municipal bonds will post their first negative annual performance since the financial crisis, with investors fleeing municipal funds at a record pace and the market’s overall size, now less than $3.7 trillion, contracting for a third straight year.